Fall Festival in Tsukuda

On October 31, we helped host a fall festival with Grace Harbor Project in the park just outside our apartment building. We had over a hundred people come, with a lot of great fun and conversations on that day and since.

I love playing outside, as you can tell from this video clip...

Making caramel apples...

Ring toss...

Face painting...

Sticking hands in the mystery boxes... (that's Abi with white wig dressed as Storm)



In September, I traveled to Berlin and spoke at the Green Hill Gallery about "ART IN EMERGENCY," the role artists can and should be play in emergencies.

After sharing stories about the arts in the relief effort in Northeast Japan, the room was opened up to a great discussion by Berlin artists about what can be done to address the needs of the war-torn refugees from Syria, who are pouring into Berlin.

Connecting with an artist afterwards through the keyboard.

While in Berlin, I also ran the Berlin Marathon...while wearing a white back brace. I was coming down a ladder in the rain when the ladder slipped. I fell on my back directly on top of a sharp rock. When Abi ran over, I told her I was fine, then proceeded to pass out! A few men dragged me to their car and then eventually got me to a couch. I lived with that brace for over two months.

Those of you who thought I was crazy or stupid, well...you're right! Here's the proof! Despite the pain and the fact that I was not able to run at all for over a month before the marathon, I was determined to run (or walk...or crawl...) to the finish line. I stopped at least once an hour for long stretching episodes and much more frequently for light stretching of my back...trying to prevent serious injury. Every time I stopped, people rushed over and asked "Are you okay? Are you okay?" They were very kind.

Here I am at the Brandenburg Gate just before the finish line. I don't look quite so energetic, but it looks like I'm going to make it! And, while I won't tell you my time, you can see from this picture that there was at least one person behind me. I should put a caption on this picture: "Never Give Up!"


4 Boys & Dad Climb Mt. Myoko

While my wife was away, Aidan (12), Eastin (9), Coen (6), Kaizen (2), and I climbed Mt. Myoko on a 3 day/2 night camping trip.

Scene from top of Mt. Myoko
Five of us on peak of Mt. Myoko
Beautiful path
The staunch hikers
Field of flowers in the spring
Where did the land go?!
Kaizen walked a lot of the way, which is one reason it took three days!
Drank the water from this small mountain lake
Kaizen looks so little in the wild
Kaizen at the edge of the world!


Toccata & Fugue in D Minor

A video someone took during the July 18, 2015 Gospel Festival on their iPhone.


Gospel Music Festival

On July 18, 2015 we held the 3rd Annual Gospel Music Festival in Ishinomaki. This was a joint partnership between Liberty Music (Community Arts Tokyo's disaster-area ministries) and Ishinomaki Christian Center, involving the cooperation of many local churches, NPO's, businesses, and volunteers.

Me on my "super-portable" organ which I can send through the mail. I love playing outside!
Children making the display boards
Prayer the day before the festival
Sushi anyone?
Businesses getting ready for their hungry customers
Children getting ready for their big performance
Ending gospel choir led by gospel star John Lucas


Bach Festival Series

The Bach Festival Series consisted of 11 concerts in concert halls, community centers, schools, and churches over a three-month period of time from April to June 2015.

The portable digital organ is set-up and ready to go! Three of the concerts took place in a 250-seat concert hall in Tsukishima.

Short video clip of Rachel Reese playing the last movement of Bach's Partita No. 1 for Solo Violin in Honda Chapel, Chiba.


Festival for all Denominations

I was skeptical as to the benefits of a church music festival only for Christians, but I was wrong. This festival was started in the 1960's in order to bring together diverse churches of all denominations and faiths, catholic and protestant, through music. This year, they asked me to pull together a group of English speakers to represent the English-speaking church body of Japan. During lunch and rehearsals throughout the day, we had great conversations. The church of Japan needs more opportunities like this to encourage one another. Here is a short video I took of all the featured choirs singing "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" during rehearsal.